“An incredibly generous and open working process has been established, where all the voices in the room are valued and invaluable.”
“Love the way Blind Ditch listen in to those who participate and respond. It’s wonderful to see the layers of experience in the room”
“I was surprised to find such a clearly relevant arts project in the city. Taking part was enjoyable”
“Blind Ditch have worked incredibly hard and valued our input and energy. I feel proud to have been part of this work.”
“there has been a very focused and committed energy in the space from everyone which is really great to be a part of.’”
“Sad to leave Exeter (have discovered that all the best artists are hiding there secretly constructing a creative utopia in which art and ‘real-life’ switch roles intermittently).”
“I felt the project was truly participatory… I experienced in a direct and physical way the social quality of the project… It was very enjoyable and also informative.”
“We would definitely work with Blind Ditch again… It was interesting watching the team respond and react to a different set of demands. This was good in developing a bit of ‘outside of the box’ thinking. It was fun!”
“an intelligent way of working with participation across the city and the way participants have been encompassed by Blind Ditch team is a model of good practice that I won’t forget in a hurry.”
“It has broadened my knowledge as an artist, particularly through seeing how Blind Ditch approach working with the public, and how they infuse this through project vision.”
“an excellent endeavour that I thoroughly enjoyed being part of. I’d work with Blind Ditch again in an instant.”
“There was a socially anarchic feel that prompted people to step outside daily life routines and ‘normality’ – which is a state you need to be in to consider complicated issues.”
” I felt an instant connection and was made very welcome by everyone involved. It’s rare to do a project somewhere and feel like you become part of that community longterm, even after leaving.”
“I found it really inspiring to work creatively with academics who I ordinarily would not collaborate with. I learned a huge amount from being part of the team, and in turn had a lot to contribute.”
Blind Ditch are a small group of artists who collaborate in different constellations to make performance, art and cultural events. We are passionate about creative process as a way of provoking public conversation and debate. We want to challenge and entertain audiences and participants as thinking citizens, in surprising and empowering ways. If there were such a thing as experimental, risk-taking and accessible art in whatever form, we hope that we make it.
We began working together in 1999 during post-graduate study at the former Dartington College of Arts in Devon, UK. Back then we had a passion for DIY sound effects and training ourselves to fall over in dramatic ways. As we made things together, we discovered a shared enthusiasm for ‘field work’ and utopian dreaming, that was slightly out of step with the neo-liberal optimism of the times. We began to use our projects to look more closely at where and how we were living, and to be in community with the people that we were living amongst. Some of stayed in Devon, some of us left, some of us kept visiting. Some of us had children, some of us got full time jobs, and some new people joined us. We continued to enjoy a supportive and inspiring relationship with staff and students at Dartington College until it finally closed its doors in 2010.
Throughout this time we’ve developed a collective way of working that produces ad hoc happenings and cultural events – driven by big ideas and often involving some kind of digital technology. We engage with our surroundings as explorers (ethnographers, cartographers, sightseers) and insiders (family members, friends, regulars). We run reasonably democratic, interdisciplinary art making processes that invite all kinds of collaborators – other artists, experts and publics – to make things happen with us. We respect genre but we don’t aspire to it. We have a tendency to purposefully maneouvre ourselves into circumstances that are hard to predict – because we like to think on our feet. That’s when change happens.